Residents of Derwent C and D blocks face a hefty fine after a break glass fire alarm point was “maliciously” broken on November 1, constituting a criminal offence.
Setting off an alarm without reason is illegal under the Fire and Services Act 2004. Derwent College Administrator Chris Unwin explained this to C and D block residents, and called for the culprit to come forward. “The Fire Service may impose a fine to cover costs. Regulations say that if no one admits responsibility, all residents are liable,” she said. Provost Dr Ron Weir stated that “University regulations make it quite clear that this is a criminal offence.”
Steve Miller, of C block, heard “girls giggling and screaming. Then the alarm went off and I heard them run back into D block.”
The Fire Service was called, and the angry firefighters explained the seriousness of the event. “It could be your mother or father burning to death whilst we’re here dealing with a bunch of vandals,” said one, describing the alarm as “smashed maliciously.”
Moira Nicolson, of C- block, said the event was the result of growing tension between blocks: “There is supposedly some rivalry going on involving the stealing of toasters, kettles, chairs and other household items.”
D-block resident Ciara Masterson defended her housemates actions, saying “There is talk of conflict, but there’s nothing malevolent in it. No one is that stupid or selfish to have done something so disruptive.”